Today (Tuesday 13 August) marks an important stage in Glasgow’s bid to become the European Capital of Sport in 2023 as the city welcomes a delegation of officials from ACES Europe.
The city officially noted its intention to bid in January of this year, and submitted a formal candidature bid last month, resulting in the city being shortlisted for the title alongside Genoa, Italy.
The visiting delegation from ACES Europe, a non-profit association based in Brussels which annually awards the titles of European Capital, City, Community and Town of Sport, will judge Glasgow against its five key principles and objectives: physical exercise as enjoyment; take part to compete; group spirit and feeling; fairness and respect, and; improving health.
If successful, Glasgow would be the first city to win the coveted title twice. It would also mark 20 years since it first gained the accolade back in 2003.
Glasgow earned its earlier European Capital of Sport title by demonstrating its commitment to supporting grassroots level sport as well as its ability to attract major sporting events.
Since then, the city’s sporting reputation has grown exponentially, hosting a series of world-class sporting events at outstanding venues; including the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the first-ever European Championships in 2018.
Over the next 12 months, Glasgow will host the 2019 LEN Short Course Swimming Championships, the 2020 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship, and UEFA EURO 2020.
In the last decade Glasgow has invested more than £200m in its sporting venues, attracting world-class athletes and international supporters and spectators.
Since 2009, attendances at Glasgow Club sports facilities have increased by more than 50%, meaning more and more adults are taking positive steps to improve their health and wellbeing.
In addition, the number of junior members attending sports clubs across the city has more than quadrupled, demonstrating children are increasingly becoming active in sport at an earlier age.
Sport also adds huge value to the city’s economy contributing approximately £367m and employing around 10,000 people across the sector.
Last year Glasgow retained its title as the fifth best sporting city in the world according to the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities awards. Winning the 2023 European Capital of Sport title would add another jewel to the city’s crown of sporting glory.
Lord Provost Eva Bolander, said: "Glasgow is a hugely diverse city with a long and proud history of using sport to break down barriers and bring people together. Sport’s unifying power is demonstrated daily here in Glasgow: a city packed with world-class sporting infrastructure offering activities for everyone.
"Our visitors from ACES Europe have toured numerous venues and met staff and volunteers delivering our exciting sporting participation programmes and initiatives, helping Glaswegians to become and stay active.
"We’re proud of our community engagement more than doubling our citizens’ participation in sport. We’re committed to engaging in grassroots sport to improve residents’ wellbeing and are extremely proud of the successful regeneration brought about by our investment in sport.
"Glasgow deserves the title of European Capital of Sport in 2023, and we’re looking forward to the judging process."
Gian Francesco Lupattelli, President of ACES Europe, said: "It gives me great pleasure to return to Glasgow to assess the City for the European Capital of Sport 2023.
"I have very fond memories of the city when Glasgow was awarded the title in 2003 which was then only the third city to receive the award. I remember then some ground-breaking initiatives such as the GP referral scheme, the School of Sport, great sports development initiatives to encourage sports for all, and some fantastic facilities.
"Although the visit is not yet finished already, I can see that the city has not stood still since 2003 but gone from strength to strength, with the addition of some truly world-class facilities and sport and health initiatives taking place which has seen usage levels rise significantly.
"The final competition is now between Glasgow and Genoa and whilst I can’t predict what we will find when we visit Genoa in October, I can say that Glasgow is going to be a very strong contender for the award and I wish the City the best of luck."
Following the ACES Europe visit to the city, a voting process will take place with results announced in November 2019.
For more information, contact Louise Walsh: [email protected] // 0141 287 5580 // 07947 639 509